Have you seen these gay Nashville billboards?

The billboards currently rotating around the Greater Nashville area are surprising enough to make anyone do a double-take. Whether near the popular 100 Oaks shopping center or inconspicuously spreading their message of tolerance on I-40 out by the airport, Tennessee native Timothy Lee and his clothing company, Love is Equality, are aiming for their message to reach many more than already are part of the fabric of Tennessee's LGBT community.

In 2012, after struggling with his own sexuality and coming out to his family, Lee began Love is Equality. "I knew I needed to do something to make a difference and to let others know that they weren’t alone and that there is more support for them then they know," said Lee. "At that point, I created Love Is Equality. It started with a simple t-shirt design posted on social media and before you know it we had over 5 designs printed and partnering with pride organizations throughout the United States and selling the shirts."

The accompanying billboards have been placed strategically across the United States in equality battleground areas. Love is Equality has rotated its billboards in places such as Arizona, Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina, Memphis and now Nashville.

Those who have been part of the fabric of Nashville's LGBT community for years have remarked about the surprising speed of equality in their lifetime never thinking they'd see a billboard with two men kissing and it not be a billboard condemning the LGBT community on Tennessee's highways. 'I’m sure at some point in the future someone else would have done it but, it’s pretty surreal being responsible for creating change," says Lee. "But that’s what Love Is Equality is about, being the one to help create change and break barriers that haven’t been broken."

The rotating billboards include male and female couples as well as a shot of an LGBT family, all shot by Nashville photographer Jay Farrell. 

Lee's commitment to equality and change goes well beyond the billboards. Anticipating the Love is Equality website to be functioning for orders by the end of April, Lee is also donating 60% of proceeds to local equality organizations. In the case of sales in Tennessee, funds are being donated to Tennessee Equality Project (TEP). TEP's Executive Director Chris Sanders said he was very grateful for the support Lee and his apparel company have pledged to TEP.

"It will mean we will be able to do more educational programs across the state, and it will also just increase the message for equality," Sanders says. He added that the advertising Lee is running, including the billboards that went up in Nashville last month, will benefit everyone pushing for equality. "That's just going to give all our issues a boost." 

So what are you waiting for Nashville? Keep your eyes peeled while driving for the Love is Equality billboards and head over to the organization's Facebook page to keep up-to-date with the ordering timeline. Loveisequal.org is expected to launch by the end of April

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